‘I Have Been Like A Nun In A Cloister’
It’s been a very busy and tough day in RealWorld™, so this will have to do.
I happened upon a passage in the book I’m currently reading, John Ferling’s Independence: The Struggle To Set America Free [which I highly recommend as the best history of how and why The Declaration Of Independence came to be written and American Independence to be declared], that quoted from a letter by Abigail Adams to John Adams and I was reminded again of what an extraordinary woman she was and how much she suffered in the name of Freedom and Liberty for America.
I hope you find it as sating and inspirational as I did…
Braintree, 12 November, 1775.
My Dearest Friend,
I received yours of 23d October. I want to hear from you every day, and I always feel sorry when I come to the close of a letter. Your time must be greatly engrossed — but little of it to spare to the calls of private friendship, and I have reason to think I have the largest share of it. Winter makes its approaches fast. I hope I shall not be obliged to spend it without my dearest friend. I know not how to think of it.
The intelligence you will receive before this reaches you will, I should think, make a plain path, though a dangerous one, for you. I could not join to-day in the petitions of our worthy pastor, for a reconciliation between our no longer parent state, but tyrant state, and these colonies. Let us separate; they are unworthy to be our brethren. Let us renounce them; and instead of supplications, as formerly, for their prosperity and happiness, let us beseech the Almighty to blast their counsels and bring to nought all their devices.
I have nothing remarkable to write you. A little skirmish happened last week. The particulars I have endeavored to collect, but whether I have the facts right, I am not certain. A number of cattle were kept at Lechmere’s Point, where two sentinels were placed. In a high tide it is an island. The regulars had observed this, and a scheme was laid to send a number of them over and take off the stock. Accordingly, a number of boats and about four hundred men were sent. They landed, it seems, unperceived by the sentinels, who were asleep; one of whom they killed, and took the other prisoner. As soon as they were perceived, they fired the cannon from Prospect Hill upon them, which sunk one of their boats; but, as the tide was very high, it was difficult getting over, and some time before any alarm was given. A Colonel Thompson, of the riflemen, marched instantly with his men; and, though a very stormy day, they regarded not the tide nor waited for boats, but marched over neck-high in water, and discharged their pieces, when the regulars ran, without waiting to get off their stock, and made the best of their way to the opposite shore. The General sent his thanks in a public manner to the brave officer and his men. Major Mifflin, I hear, was there, and flew about as though he would have raised the whole army. May they never find us deficient in courage and spirit.
Dr. Franklin invited me to spend the winter in Philadelphia. I shall wish to be there unless you return. I have been like a nun in a cloister, ever since you went away, and have not been into any other house than my father’s and sister’s, except once to Colonel Quincy’s. Indeed, I have no inclination for company. My evenings are lonesome and melancholy. In the daytime family affairs take off my attention, but the evenings are spent with my departed parent [her Mother had died recently of Dysentery, caught from the troops and spread to the country-side]. I then ruminate upon all her care and tenderness, and am sometimes lost and absorbed in a flood of tenderness ere I am aware of it, or can call to my aid my only prop and support. I must bid you adieu; ’tis late at night.
Most affectionately yours.
Fortunately, it seems we have many women of such caliber on our side in these dark times.